Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Rally Time and a New Upgrade for Phannie

Photo above taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

At Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort, Canton, Texas...

The Texas Allegro Bluebonnet RV club, to which we belong, has been sponsoring a large statewide rally here in Canton. It was open to all owners of Tiffin motorhomes, and there were approximately one hundred sites filled with Tiffin coaches of all kinds and vintages:

Here's another view of more sites near the park's pond:

Aside from fun, food and fellowship, the owners of these coaches had some opportunities in several seminars to get some education in such subjects as satellite TVs, towbars and towing, hot water systems, tire safety, RV batteries and other presentations. Tiffin representatives were there with the latest news from the factory, and some well-respected RV service techs were on site to present their credentials and perform maintenance and upgrades. Vogt RV from Fort Worth brought three new Tiffin coaches to show the rally attendees and sold two of them! 

One of the participating tech firms that I hold in very high esteem is Custom RV (256-668-0973), based in Vina, Alabama (not far from the Tiffin factory in Red Bay). The owner, Brannon Hutcheson, was there along with an assistant, Jason, and I had them install the new Winegard Razar automated TV antenna to replace Phannie's "bat wing" antenna that was cumbersome at best to operate and unusable at worst. Wow, what a difference! This antenna is installed on the roof and, with the push of a button inside the coach, it will automatically search and find all available local TV channels for viewing on Phannie's TVs. Although we use Direct TV satellite mostly, we sometimes like to see some local programming, especially news and weather. The new Razar is amazing in that with the push of a button, we suddenly had ten clear local HD channels available to us in Canton, which is quite a long way from any TV transmitters.

Here's what the Razar antenna looks like installed on Phannie's roof:

Here is a photo of the antenna's control panel:

Here is a photo of Brannon and Jason of Custom RV as they finished the installation:

In a couple of weeks, we will be taking Phannie to Brannon's shop in Alabama to have some more upgrades--one of which will be a new residential refrigerator to replace the current electric/propane Norcold--or "Nevercold"--as it is often called among RV owners. Phannie will get other upgrades as well, but this is all I'm going to tease you with for now.

Many of the seminars were well attended, as seen below:

Here's a photo of some of our club members who attended:

On one evening during the rally, Sandy and I drove a short distance to the Four Winds Steakhouse near Wills Point to meet friends John and Bobbie Jo:

Four Winds is located at what was the ranch house of former Dallas Cowboy Leroy Jordan. The large house was renovated into a restaurant on a hill overlooking hundreds of acres of prime ranch land in northeast Texas. The food was excellent, as was the company and the setting; it was good to see our friends again:

John and Bobbi Jo
While everything we ate was delicious, the standout had to be the bread pudding. I am no stranger to bread pudding--as you might surmise by my less-than-emaciated torso--and this may have been the best:

Four winds will be included on the favorite restaurants list linked near the top of this blog. (If you suspect that you might need to bring a fat wallet to this place, you would be right.)

On the other hand, there are places near Canton where you can really eat well on the cheap. A favorite is the always-busy Street Taco Shack located near the entrance to Mill Creek Resort. It is certainly named appropriately, but the owners serve a lot of authentic tacos that will set you back only $1.25. They also have a killer salsa made fresh daily. The salsa alone is worth stopping, in my opinion:

If this weren't enough, there is a similar takeout joint next door that sells some fried catfish that is fresh, delicious and dirt cheap.

After the rally ended, several of our group met at Easley's Steak House in Canton, where we enjoyed some excellent steaks at a modest price, plus the service was excellent. It was good enough that it will also go on the favorites list. 

This has been a fun and informative week with lots of good fellowship, but such are the adventures of the wandering gypsies we have become. As my friend Ed writes, in closing his daily blog posts, Life is Good!

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

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